UNITED NATIONS, July 26. /TASS/. The United States has blocked a request from President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach to the United Nations Security Council 1718 Sanctions Committee to cross out sports equipment from the list of goods banned for exports to North Korea, a UN diplomatic source told TASS on Wednesday.
"The United States was the only one to object against approving the IOC president’s request by the UN Security Council Committee," the source said.
The IOC president said in his request that such equipment is necessary to train North Korean athletes to get prepared to international competitions, with an eye for taking part in the next Olympic Games. He noted that the latest Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang added a new chapter in the long history of relations between the IOC and the United Nations. In his words, when athletes from the two Koreas walked side by side as a single team at the opening ceremony, it sent a strong reconciliation signal to the entire world.
Bach pledged earlier he would do his best to promote North Korean team’s participation in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
A thaw in relations between Seoul and Pyongyang took shape in early 2018 at Pyongyang’s initiative. The sides agreed to send a delegation of North Korean athletes and officials to the Olympic Games in PyeongChang. Later on, the IOC okeyed participation of North Korean athletes. Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was among the members of the North Korean delegation included. The teams from the two Koreas took part in the Olympic athletes’ parade during the opening ceremony under a unified Korea flag.